Morton Barlaz

Distinguished University Professor and Head

Dr. Morton A. Barlaz is Professor and Head of the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Barlaz is the author of over 90 peer-reviewed publications and has made over 200 presentations at conferences throughout the world.  In 1992 he was awarded a Presidential Faculty Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Barlaz has been active in service throughout his career.  He is an Associate Editor for two journals (Waste Management and Journal of Environmental Engineering) and serves as co-chair of the bi-annual Intercontinental Landfill Research Symposium.  He has served as chair of the Government Affairs Committee and the Lectures Committee for the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors.  Finally, he serves on the Science Advisory Committee for the International Waste Working Group.


Ph. D. 1988

Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Wisconsin

M.S. 1985

Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Wisconsin

B.S. 1978

Chemical Engineering

University of Michigan

Research Description

Dr. Barlaz has been involved in research on various aspects of solid waste since 1983. Over this time, he has conducted research on biological refuse decomposition, methane production, and the biodegradation of hazardous wastes in landfills.  He has participated in two state-of-the-practice reviews of bioreactor landfills.  His research forms the basis for much of the work done to assess the impact of landfills on methane emissions inventories.  Dr. Barlaz is also recognized for his research on the use of life-cycle analysis to evaluate environmental emissions associated with alternate solid waste management strategies.


Application of a life cycle model for european union policy-driven waste management decision making in emerging economies
Stanisavljevic, N., Levis, J. W., & Barlaz, M. A. (2018), Journal of Industrial Ecology, 22(2), 341–355.
Case study comparison of functional vs. organic stability approaches for assessing threat potential at closed landfills in the USA
O’Donnell, S. T., Caldwell, M. D., Barlaz, M. A., & Morris, J. W. F. (2018), Waste Management (New York, N.Y.), 75, 415–426.
Microbial ecological succession during municipal solid waste decomposition
Staley, B. F., Reyes, F. L., Wang, L., & Barlaz, M. A. (2018), Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 102(13), 5731–5740.
Spatial and temporal characteristics of elevated temperatures in municipal solid waste landfills, Navid H. Jafari, Timothy D. Stark, and Todd Thalhamer, Waste Management, 2017, Vol. 59, p. 286-301
Barlaz, M. A., Benson, C. H., Castaldi, M., & Luettich, S. (2018), Waste Management (New York, N.Y.), 71, 244–245.
The decay of engineered wood products and paper excavated from landfills in Australia
Ximenes, F. A., Cowie, A. L., & Barlaz, M. A. (2018), Waste Management (New York, N.Y.), 74, 312–322.
Evaluation of externality costs in life-cycle optimization of municipal solid waste management systems
Martinez-Sanchez, V., Levis, J. W., Darrigaard, A., DeCarolis, J. F., Barlaz, M. A., & Astrup, T. F. (2017), Environmental Science & Technology, 51(6), 3119–3127.
Heat generation and accumulation in municipal solid waste landfills
Hao, Z. S., Sun, M., Ducoste, J. J., Benson, C. H., Luettich, S., Castaldi, M. J., & Barlaz, M. A. (2017), Environmental Science & Technology, 51(21), 12434–12442.
Life-cycle modeling of municipal solid waste landfills
Levis, J. W., & Barlaz, M. A. (2017), In Geotechnical frontiers 2017: waste containment, barriers, remediation, and sustainable geoengineering (pp. 355–368).
National estimate of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) release to US municipal landfill leachate
Lang, J. R., Allred, B. M., Field, J. A., Levis, J. W., & Barlaz, M. A. (2017), Environmental Science & Technology, 51(4), 2197–2205.
Retrospective analysis of Wisconsin's landfill organic stability rule
Bareither, C. A., Barlaz, M. A., Doran, M., & Benson, C. H. (2017). Retrospective analysis of Wisconsin’s landfill organic stability rule. Journal of Environmental Engineering (New York, N.Y.), 143(5),

View all publications via NC State Libraries


Development of a Life-Cycle Model for Open Dumps and Informal Waste Collection
RTI International (aka Research Triangle Institute)(10/14/16 - 9/30/17)
Development of a Predictive Model to Estimate Emissions from Open Dumps in Emerging Economies
Procter & Gamble Co.(3/17/15 - 12/31/17)
Maximizing Energy for Waste While Minimizing Life-Cycle Environmental Burdens and Cost
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(12/09/14 - 2/28/19)
Environmental Research & Education Foundation(12/15/14 - 6/30/19)
Solid Waste Management Planning for Wake County in Consideration of Cost, Energy and Environmental Emissions
Wake County(7/01/14 - 12/31/17)
SAVI: International Institute for Solid Waste Management Life-Cycle Modeling
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/14 - 7/31/19)
Life-Cycle Analysis of Alternatives for Food Waste Management
Covanta Energy Corporation(10/14/13 - 5/31/15)
Development of Methods to Measure the Hydrogen Sulfide Production Potential of Sulfur-Containing Wastes
Environmental Research & Education Foundation(8/15/12 - 7/31/15)
Development of Methods to Measure Anaerobic Biodegradability Under Simulated Landfill Conditions
Plastics Environmental Council(8/01/11 - 8/28/13)
Utilizing Municipal Solid Waste as a Biofuel Feedstock
Biofuels Center of North Carolina(7/01/11 - 4/30/13)